Tuesday, December 31, 2013
ORNL in the News

Oak Ridge-GM prototype low-viscosity ionic liquid-additized engine oil delivers 2% fuel economy improvement over 5W-30

(Green Car Congress) A team from Oak Ridge National Laboratory and General Motors, led by ORNL researcher Dr. Jun Qu, has developed a new group of ionic liquids as lubricant additives that could help improve the energy efficiency of cars and trucks...12/30

13 major clean energy breakthroughs of 2013

(Grist) ...2013 had more clean energy milestones than we could fit on one page, but here are 13 of the key breakthroughs that happened this year...researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory successfully demonstrated a new lithium-ion battery technology that can store far more power in a much smaller size, and that’s safer and less prone to shorts...12/30

HFIR pipe being repaired from inside (with carbon fiber)

(Knoxville News Sentinel) ...According to Ron Crone, ORNL’s reactor chief, more than 200 feet of pipe that forms the reactor’s cooling tower return line is being lined with sheets of carbon fiber. The leak fix should provide a permanent solution for an old pipe that was due to be replaced anyway, Crone said. That pipe has been in the ground 50 years,” the lab official said...12/29

What Has the Titan Supercomputer Been Up To Lately? You Won’t Believe It.

(All Things D) ...ORNL is, you’ll recall, the home of Titan, the most powerful computer known to exist in the U.S. and, as of the latest Top 500 list, the second-most powerful machine in the world, after China’s Tianhe-2...12/18

DOE

Biofuel scientists making headway on cheaper algae-based crude

(Fuelfix.com) Government engineers say they have developed a cheaper way to turn wet algae into crude oil, but it may take a few years before it can be sold in any significant quantities...12/27

State & Regional

Tennessee's population growth trails national average

(The Tennessean) Tennessee’s population growth dipped in 2013 and trailed the rate in the nation and the otherwise fast-growing South, according to new census estimates released Monday...12/31

National

Population gains at near-historic lows

(Washington Post) The population of the United States is growing more slowly than it has since the Great Depression in what demographers say is a reflection of the recession’s lingering effects on people’s behavior...12/30

U.S. cracks open skies to testing, use of aerial drones

(Reuters) The U.S. government took a step on Monday toward opening the skies to aerial drones, authorizing six sites where unmanned aircraft can be tested for a variety of uses....12/30

 

energy & science policy

Plan to delist gray wolf endangers other threatened species, researchers find

(PhysOrg) The federal government's proposal to discontinue protection for the gray wolf across the United States could have the unintended consequence of endangering other species, researchers say...12/30

science & technology

Triple-threat method sparks hope for fusion

(Nature) The Z machine at Sandia National Laboratories in New Mexico discharges the most intense pulses of electrical current on Earth. Millions of amperes can be sent towards a metallic cylinder the size of a pencil eraser, inducing a magnetic field that creates a force — called a Z pinch — that crushes the cylinder in a fraction of a second...12/30

Plastic made from pollution hits U.S. market

(USA Today) A decade ago in his Princeton dorm room, Mark Herrema had an aha moment. He read a newspaper story about the rise in heat-trapping methane emissions from dairy farms and decided to do something about it...12/30

10,000-Year-Old Clock Challenges Approach To Time

(NPR) [Audio] In this final interview in our series of conversations about the future, Morning Edition co-host Steve Inskeep talks to Danny Hillis, a scientist and engineer and the inventor of a clock designed to last 10,000 years...12/31

Scientists 'print' new eye cells

(BBC) ...At the moment the results are preliminary and show that an inkjet printer can be used to print two types of cells from the retina of adult rats―ganglion cells and glial cells...12/17

Other Stories

Why Jordan is still pursuing the nuclear (power) option

(CS Monitor) Residual fears from the Fukushima disaster and low natural gas prices have tempered enthusiasm for nuclear power in many countries, but not Jordan...12/28